An extraordinary summit convened by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is slated to kick off this coming Saturday in Djibouti. The focus of this summit will be the ongoing crisis in Sudan. Notably, delegates from the European Union, U.S. government, and United Nations agencies will be in attendance. Among those arriving in Djibouti for the summit is the EU envoy for the Horn of Africa, Annette Weber. In the company of IGAD's Executive Secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Weber expressed optimism that the summit would serve as a crucial platform to address the Sudanese situation.
Failed Jeddah Talks
The Jeddah negotiations involving the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) were reportedly halted as both parties failed to meet their obligations. These obligations included the implementation of confidence-building measures, withdrawal of military forces from key cities and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid in affected areas. It is expected that the reasons behind the failure of these talks will be discussed during the IGAD summit.
Impact of the Crisis
The crisis in Sudan has resulted in significant internal displacement and has forced a staggering 1,437,874 individuals to seek refuge in neighbouring nations such as Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. The conflict continues to rage in and around Khartoum, Bahri and Omdurman, further exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. In response to the conflict, the US Treasury imposed sanctions on three former Sudanese officials for their role in undermining the country's peace, security, and stability.
End of UNITAMS
On 1st December, the UN Security Council unanimously terminated the mandate of the UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). The cessation of operations commenced on 4th December 2023, with the objective of transferring tasks, where feasible, to UN agencies, funds and programmes by 29 February 2024. While the decision to end UNITAMS was unanimous, the United States and the United Kingdom's ambassadors expressed their disappointment over the decision.